Grace O'Driscoll deposited Health information equity: rebalancing for representation of racial diversity in healthcare collection management in the group CityLIS on Humanities Commons 8 months, 3 weeks ago
Health disparities experienced by racially minoritised people are well documented and continue in the UK despite statements and policies mandating equality at national and institutional levels. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored both inequalities and our reliance on healthcare information and its communication chains. As stewards of knowledge, healthcare information professionals hold particular interest and accountability in the efficacy of resources in the domain. Lives depend on it. Efforts to decolonise medical education and ensure curricula reflect the UK’s diverse population are underway. This study investigates the potential for healthcare information services to contribute to equity through collections, and the context and imperatives to do so. The research includes a literature review exploring the landscape for these changes, a survey of UK healthcare information professionals establishing a snapshot of awareness and progress towards information equity, and a series of semi-structured interviews examining individual information professional’s experiences on the topic, recording both best practice and barriers to change. The findings of the study indicate strong engagement with the need to deliver more equitable and representative resources in the UK healthcare information sector, but an absence of some of the key routes to success, particularly published resources. Opportunities identified include; the potential for shared collection policies and best practice, including national guidance; capabilities of information professionals to influence authors and publishers to produce the materials needed or to engage in creation and publishing; creation of racial equity standards for health research and data management; disambiguation of internal equality and diversity agendas as distinct from wider equality goals and responsibilities; and the further embedding of critical race theory and social justice in UK LIS scholarship and education.